How to identify a pile of Lego on your iPhone
If you have a huge collection of Lego bricks in a bucket, you could probably get some inspiration and help sort the stack. Here’s how to use your iPhone to participate in constructive play.
It’s pretty common that you can’t own just one Lego set. Over the years, plastic bricks can seemingly multiply, with adult fans and happy children building their collection with multiple play sets.
There is one common problem that most people will run into: storing sets after you are done with them. Virtually everyone will sweep the bricks into a bucket or box for storage, if the constructed diorama is not kept in its finished splendor on a shelf.
Over time, the decorations become entangled, combined into a mass of unsorted bricks in a container. It can be good for creativity, but chances are you won’t find the instruction manual, or necessarily the right bricks you need for a particular build.
Left with a growing pile of bricks, the situation could be overwhelming, especially when you want to try and sort the collection into smaller subsets for construction.
This is where your iPhone can help.
A free app made by fans of blocks, Brickit for iOS is a handy tool for situations where you have tons of bricks but don’t know what to do with them. By taking advantage of the rear camera and computer vision, the app can tell you what parts you need for a project and where they are in the stack.
Such a tool can be useful in various ways, including giving builders items to build with their collection. It also cuts down on build time because you’ll know where every part you need is located, so you don’t have to spend minutes looking through the stack for a particular item.
You’re even presented with Lego-like instructions for building your selection.
Naturally, as an app for kids and adults alike, it’s easy to get started with the app.
There are two sections in the app, called Build and Collect. Of the two, Build is likely to be the one in which you will probably spend the most time.
Build – Digitization and selection of builds
Upon opening the app for the first time, you will be greeted with a tutorial that explains how the app works and what it can do.
To begin with, you need to prepare your bricks for scanning. Lay the pile on a surface, remove all the large items from the collection and level everything so that it is a single brick layer.
This is to ensure that the camera can see as many individual bricks as possible in the stack. If any bricks are covered by others, the camera cannot see them and the app does not know that it exists.
How to scan bricks in Brickit on iPhone
- Open the Brickit application.
- Tap Brick scanner.
- Hold the iPhone about two feet above the layer of bricks to capture as many bricks as possible. If necessary, hold the iPhone higher to capture all the edges of the pile of bricks.
- Press the white circle to shoot.
- When the analysis is complete, press the button check proceed.
- To select from the list of ideas proposed by the application. It will also warn you if any parts are missing, for which you will have to try to find an alternative in the stack. Tap To build.
- Follow the construction instructions, using the parts list at the bottom of the screen. Press the thumbnail of the scanned area to see where the parts you need to use are located.
There are some limitations to the app, which is still in beta at the time of publication. Although he cannot see every brick in a pile, he can identify very well what he can actually see.
The app will also count the number of bricks in the stack and show you the total. The count may not be perfectly correct, as it may identify some or miss others altogether.
It also happens that the application does not give you an idea of ââwhat to build based on what has been scanned. The app recommends that at least 150 bricks should be scanned to suggest something.
It is also advisable to move the Duplo and Technic bricks away from the stack, as the application does not currently detect these bricks.
Finally, make sure the scanned bricks are well lit, so that the camera has the best chance of picking them all up. While Appleinsider testing indicates that the app works equally well on a patterned rug as it does on a solid white desk, you might want to go wrong by using the simpler background when possible.
Once you’re prepared, stack scanning is pretty quick, with a collection of 276 bricks taking about a second on an iPhone 12 Pro Max, four seconds on an iPhone 11 Pro, and about 15 seconds on an iPhone X.
If you use more bricks, it will take longer, i.e. two seconds on the iPhone 12 Pro Max and 15 seconds on the iPhone 11 Pro. The iPhone X failed to scan the larger pile.
Collect – Know what you have
If you have a better understanding of the Lego sets you have on hand, you will probably want to take advantage of the Collection section. In short, you can tell the app which sets you own, which tells it what other bricks may be available, although this may not necessarily be displayed in an analysis.
However, you won’t be told how to build a set you already own, just what other things you could build from the bricks in that set. You won’t get a guide, but you will be told what bricks there are in the set, including the different categories of bricks.
How to add your sets to Brickit on iPhone
- In the Brickit application, press Collect.
- Press the type Lego series to which the set belongs, such as City or Star Wars. You can also use the search box to find the set.
- Press the together from the list of categories.
- Tap Add.
- Scroll to select the number of sets of this type you have, then press Save.
- Scroll down to see the bricks in the set. Tap Show All to see all the bricks, classified.
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